Sometimes you don’t know things about yourself until suddenly you do

Earlier this year on a Tuesday evening (February second, to be precise) I was washing my hands after using the toilet and my mind was, as usual, wandering. I was thinking about how developmentally interesting childhood and teenage crushes are, and chuckling internally about how I can always tell who I had a crush on in my youth based on whether or not I named a character in whatever story I was writing for the boy. There were a lot, over the years. Lots of boys.

And, I realised with a jolt, several girls too.

“Oh,” I thought to myself…

Four things you can learn from reading fanfiction; the good, bad, and erotic

It is a fact that to write well you need to read well. I also believe that it’s important to read badly. Where does fanfiction fit in to that?

Honestly, I find it fits everywhere. Like many things, fanfiction is not cohesive — there are great fics that surpass their source material and there are ones that are truly a struggle to read. But something they all have is passion, and reading that has helped me grow as a writer.

Embrace excitement

The number one draw of fanfiction is that you’re already invested. You like the characters, the world, the vibe, the…

Four simple ways to make eye-catching marketing graphics

“Trust me, you can do your own graphics”
“Trust me, you can do your own graphics”

If you’re doing any kind of side hustle, marketing is an inevitable part of it. And marketing sucks. There’s a lot to wrap your head around — so many different avenues filled with all kinds of details like SEO and algorithms and ad budgets.

Honestly, I don’t know jack about those bits, but what I do know is how to make some decent looking graphics. …

Finding inspiration in old (very old) work

I’ve been thinking a lot about poetry lately and I suddenly remembered that I used to have an account on AllPoetry. Was it still there? Yes, yes it was. Could I log in? Also yes.

I thought I’d take a read of the 70 poems I had posted there from the ages of sixteen to eighteen. The experience turned out to be enlightening and inspiring, which is not what I had expected.

Reading the words of young me is strange. I’m so self-assured yet uncertain. I thought stars, mirrors and trees were the height of poetic imagery. …

What to do when feeling happy feels weird

So my mental health went pretty strongly downhill from 2015 to 2020. While that period of time also included some moments of great happiness, including getting married to my long-term partner, when viewed as a whole my general momentum in terms of mental health was a slope downwards with some upwards spikes. Like those graphs of personal growth that try to show you that even when you’re feeling down, you’re still so far ahead of where you started…except in reverse.

In 2020 I hit a point where I had no choice but to firmly make mental health (depression and anxiety)…

Tips and tricks for getting back on track

Momentum is a wonderful thing. Once you’ve gotten started it so easy to keep going — whether it’s with writing, fitness, good habits, or whatever else you’re working towards. Momentum plays a huge part in productivity, which is why it’s such a blow when life throws you a curveball and you wake up a week later with no momentum to make progress easier.

In complete honesty — this is me, right now. I have dozens of articles in my drafts, and working on any of them fills me with dread. …

Why do walls have to be boring?

My mother’s house is a bit decrepit. She doesn’t care much about the state of the carpets, or if things look conventionally nice. But she has more art on the walls than most houses do because ever since I was little she’d let us decorate the walls.

The first thing I remember was my eldest sister painting vines around her doorframe. They’re still there, if somewhat patchy from the passage of time.

Then my middle sister, who had the large downstairs bedroom with the bare concrete floor, painted her floor. I remember a circus-like pattern, with big swirly blocks of…

We need to make music, no matter how badly.

Recently my husband and I were at a friend’s house for dinner, and she was showing him her progress in learning to play the mandolin. For the rest of the evening, she’d strum away periodically — not always perfect but very happy — in a pleasant counterpart to the conversation.

And it’s something I didn’t realise I was missing.

I’ve written before about how singing, especially group singing, is so important. But now I’ve realised there’s more to it than that — we need to make music and have music made around us. Simple, casual, imperfect music.

When I have…

How I’m getting my writing mojo back

If you judge by my profile, I’m doing fine. Following my recent four week challenge, I’ve been publishing an average of once every two days, which is not too shabby.

In truth I’m struggling with writing this month, and I don’t like it.

At first I thought I was burnt out from the four week push — and realistically, I was. It was great, but it was a lot and it’s totally reasonable that I needed to take it easy for a little afterwards.

But now it’s almost two thirds of the way through June, and the spark hasn’t come…

Caroline Cherryburn

I’m a nerd from NSW, Australia. I write, read, game, cosplay, wear weird and wonderful clothes, and write about whatever I feel like.

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